Sharing With Steve
We are starting a new year, 2017. Last year was a good year. We spent the year studying The Story, the Bible in narrative form. Everyone seemed to enjoy the focus on the Bible and what it had to tell us about God and ourselves. As 2017 approached the leadership decided that we would move from the Bible to the Church. When we look at the Church we usually look at it from our viewpoint. As individual members what is our responsibility in the Church? In 2017 we are going to take a different viewpoint. How does being the Church affect us? What does it mean to be part of the Church? Instead of moving from individual to corporate we are going to move from corporate to individual. We will start by looking at the seven churches mentioned in Revelation chapters two and three. What do these local churches reveal about the universal Church? There are good examples and poor examples. We can learn from both.
We will then look at Acts 2:42 and examine what makes up the life of the Church. We will then look at images of the Church. The New Testament is full of illustrations of the Church. The Church is the bride of Christ. The Church is a Kingdom. The Church is to be salt and light in the world. The Church is made up of warriors. We fight against “principalities and powers.” We will then look at the measure of a Church. The world uses a certain criteria to gauge the “greatness” of a church. What kind of criteria does God use to measure the Church? By the end of the year we hope to have a more complete picture of what the Church is. Our picture will never be complete until we get to heaven, but we hope that the glimpses we get this year and our focus will inspire and encourage us to be the Church that God wants us to be. From week to week we hope to have study sheets available so that you can look ahead to the next sermon and go a little deeper into the scripture. Please be keeping this in your prayers. We are excited about this new direction and we look forward to our journey together.
Welcome to 2017!
I don’t know about you, but this year feels like it could be a fresh start. I always feel that way right at the tail end of December/beginning of January, but this year I feel it even more.
Some of the new things coming my way are:
1) New meeting time for Youth Group! We will still be meeting on Sunday’s, but we are trying the afternoons to open up availability and activity options. Anyone grades 7-12 can join us at 2 PM Sunday to check it out.
2) New/Old curriculum for both kids and teens! Our teens will be studying Crazy Love by Francis Chan this semester while our kids (Toddlers-6th grade) enjoy ReThink’s Orange curriculum. If you’re interested in helping out with kids of any age, let me know! The new curriculum will allow us to use people of all ages and talents from month long commitments (for Small Group leaders) to single week assistance (With Skits and Activities). Come see what all the excitement is about. And speaking of excitement:
3) New/Old Kids Room! In discussing options with the children’s teaching team, we realized it would be better to use the rooms downstairs both hours instead of shuffling kids upstairs between hours. Not only will we be able to prepare in greater detail (without having to share space with other groups) but it will also provide greater security. Which leads to:
4) Greater attention to safety! This year we are implementing some wonderful changes to ensure your kids/grandkids are even safer while they learn about God. This will include background checks and increased teacher/student ratios as we build throughout the year. Want to help? Let me know! I always appreciate new and old recruits.
Those are the big new things in my life. What’s new in your life?
If something didn’t come to mind, maybe it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and look at getting involved in something new, whether that’s with our Children or Youth programs or whether that’s something in your local town or city.
God has called us to show his love to world, how are you going to do that in 2017?
Join the Men for Breakfast
On Saturday, Jan. 14, at 8:30 a.m. the men will be meeting for a home-cooked breakfast featuring Tom Schwartzenberger’s “famous” made-from-scratch pancakes along with sausages. There will be a time of devotion and prayer.
Warm up at our Annual Soup Supper
Time to warm up at our Annual Soup Luncheon on Sunday, Jan. 15, following the worship service. Bring your favorite soup or chili to share or a dessert. A sign-up sheet is posted to indicate what category of food you’ll be bringing.
Super Bowl Time Again
Join the fun on Sunday, Feb. 5, at 6 p.m. for our Super Bowl Party. Kick-off is set for 6:30pm and will be shown on the big screen in the fellowship hall. Please bring snacks and food to share and a 2-liter bottle of pop. Come and cheer on your favorite team. If your team does not make it, come and cheer anyway. If you don’t like football, bring some cards or table games. There will be other football non-believers to share with you.
Rosie the Riveter will speak at January SIS meeting
A local Michigan resident, Donnaleen, has kept the spirit and memory of Rosie the Riveter alive by providing talks to local women’s groups. Sisters in Service is privileged to have Donnaleen as the guest speaker at our January 23 meeting at 7 p.m. Please join us in the Fellowship Hall and listen to the stories of different “Rosies” and how this role impacted individuals, the military and the country.
Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon of the United States, representing the American women who worked in factories and shipyards during World War II. Many of these women produced munitions and war supplies, filling vacancies left by male workers serving their country in the military. Rosie the Riveter was used as a symbol of feminism and women’s economic power. The image of “Rosie” was heavily used by the government to encourage women to volunteer for wartime service in factories. Countless women left the comfort of their roles as housewives, sisters, daughters and mothers to support their country by providing goods and services needed by the troops. Many of us may have known a family relative, neighbor or friend who was a “Rosie the Riveter”.
From the Pew
by Art Drake
The Three Firsts
“Be still, and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10 NLT
Years ago a minister introduced me to the concept of the three firsts. If you are having trouble focusing on God throughout the week, you might want to consider this concept.
The three firsts are the first moments of the day, the first day of the week, and the first fruits of your labor.
The first moments of the day are also referred to as quiet time. In the still of the morning is a good time to quiet yourself and connect with God. It allows you to praise and thank Him for all he has done and to share your concerns and needs. It allows Him to guide you and direct your path to open the door to new understanding and peace.
The most peaceful moments I have ever experienced was when I was alone with God, communing with Him, and letting Him fill me with His knowledge, peace, and love. When He graces me with His presence it is a feeling that can’t be put into words.
There is no special way to organize your quiet time, but this is what I do. I start with a simple prayer asking God to open my heart and mind to His direction so that I may grow in my understanding and my thoughts be transformed into His will.
Next, I open my Bible to a section at random, read a short passage, and then meditate on what I just read. I try to be still and listen for His voice letting Him instruct me and guide me. You can also do the same with a daily devotional. I believe God will send whatever message he wants you to hear into your life, regardless.
When He is finished guiding me in what he wants me to understand that day, I close with a prayer thanking him for His love, His guidance, His forgiveness, and His peace.
After my closing prayer, I do two additional things. One, is to journal what was revealed to me that day. I use a quality journal designed for that purpose and write in long-hand. Be sure to date each passage. It is delightful to go back through the years and read the insights the Lord provided. The journals serve to preserve that understanding, and also serve to record the chronological path of spiritual growth.
The journals will one day be a gift you can hand down to your children and grand-children. They will treasure reading your path of spiritual journey. This is why I write in long-hand instead of electronic media as your penmanship will make the journal more personal to family members reading.
Matt Cox – January 8
Don Edwards – January 14
Linda Tingley – January 14
Lothar Rossol – January 17
Darrell Cox – January 19
Aleczander Cox – January 25